cherry pop


Its my day off, so I’m laying on a blanket in the park reading a book and watching people play with their dogs. There’s a little breeze, the kind that barely glides across your skin, the kind that feels so soft it’s like a little kiss hello. My feet sit in the sun, the rest of me shaded by dark purple-red leaves, just a hint of sunlight filtering through. 

Sometimes the city can be so loud. People yell and cars backfire, and I live too close to the hospital to expect peace and quiet. But here, there’s nothing but the rustle of leaves, the clink of dog collars, the gentle whiz of bikes rolling past. I pull the stem off a cherry and hear a satisfying pop, something I’ve never noticed before but want to hear again, over and over, and I wish I could record it, post it here, remember it. 

I’m just pleased to be here. Happy to be alive, happy to have moved, happy I have the day to myself. Happy to hear the cherry pop. 

Dove Lures Women


Is anyone else totally weirded out by that new Dove Real Beauty commercial where they make women shower in public?

Here it is: http://ispot.tv/a/7rVc

Basically, for those of you too lazy to click the link, this is the official court testimony of one of the women subjected to this sick stunt:

We were asked by a very peppy Dove representative if we’d like to have a free makeover. Yay! Who doesn’t love a free makeover? This seems awesome and fun and we’re all just a bunch of gal pals hangin’ out at the mall on our day off! We’re so happy to be around other women, because we’re bar tenders and get hit on by creepy dudes who ask us to have threesomes with them and their bros, which is flattering for .5 seconds and then very offensive. I’m a person, not a piece of meat. 

So the peppy lady brings us into a back room and we’re all giggling and bonding over our favorite American Girl Dolls, but then we see we’ve been lured into a room full of showers. All my friends were in this daze and said dreamily, “It’s a showerrrrr!” My first reaction was to check for hidden cameras, but they wouldn’t let me. They made me get in the shower.

They gave us our own “private” shower and told us we wouldn’t be filmed, but I know now that I shouldn’t have trusted them. And then we were told to smile and lather up with Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash. I smile all day at the bar. I just want two hours at the mall where I can frown. After we’d finished, they gave us towels and interviewed us on how we liked the product. “I hate this,” I wanted to scream, but I told them I loved it so they’d give me my clothes back.

——

Now we all know the real truth behind the Dove Real Beauty campaign, and I think we can all agree…this is just wrong.

Today Means Everything


I’ve been ridiculously emotional all day, and keep randomly crying at every rainbow-colored thing I see (including the banner at the top of WordPress while I write this post. Yes, I’m currently misty-eyed). The timeline of my day was as follows:

1. Woke up at 8 automatically, checked phone reflexively (I am a child of the 90s and have technology coded into my DNA, unfortunately), saw NPR alert that marriage had been legalized for everyone in this country. Smiled sleepily and went back to sleep.

2. Woke up again at 9, realized that holy shit gay marriage is legal in this entire country.

3. Played NPR piece on the Supreme Court decision, smiled way too hard.

4. Scrolled through Twitter and retweeted essentially everything regarding marriage equality. Got excited when I realized that #lovewins was automatically followed by a little rainbow heart emoji. I love that little rainbow heart emoji.

5. Received videos from friends of gay couples getting married (finally) and cried really hard on my couch over my bowl of cereal.

6. Read Justice Kennedy’s closing paragraph. Cried. A lot, particularly at this: “Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions.” Right in the feels, Justice Kennedy.

7. Saw a picture of an old gay couple. Cried.

8. Cried when I finally realized that I can marry whoever I fall in love with and want to marry. Sometimes I feel like I forget that I’m bi, because for my entire life I’ve been supporting gay rights for other people but not recognizing that I deserve those rights myself.

9. Read some Republican candidates’ responses to the decision, got really angry and cried a little, then read Hillary’s response and cried again because thank you Hillary.

10. Realized that this is a major step in my self-acceptance, and cried a little bit more, particularly when I saw a picture of the White House lit up in rainbow colors.

I had a lot of emotions today. Well, mostly one: happiness. And that happiness mostly manifested itself in tears all over my face. But still…it’s been a big, gay rollercoaster ride. <3

Happiness at the Hands of a Band


I saw a Neutral Milk Hotel concert recently and ran into a friend of a friend who had been a fan of the band since 1999. She’d waited 16 years to see them in concert, and was so excited (and incredibly intoxicated) to finally be there.

She said, and I’m quoting here: “I cried all day today thinking about this concert. When it’s over, I’m just gonna kill myself.”

It cracked me up so much, and it also touched my heart. It’s nice to see someone radiate so much joy over something so simple as music. It reminded me of when I cried at my second Death Cab for Cutie concert. I was sober. I had no excuse. But it was the best concert, so I suppose I’m justified.

I love you guys. Just know you bring me a lot of joy all the time :) xo

Summer Vacations Are Over


I just realized I’ll never have three solid months off for the summer ever again. And if we’re being totally honest, I’m not that sad about that. I never really loved summer vacation.

I grew up in a pretty rural area, but it wasn’t so rural that everyone else lived in a rural area….if that makes sense… Basically, I lived on 8.5 acres and my neighbors lived far away, but just a couple miles down the hill was a large development where tons of people lived pretty close to one another. We all went to school together, but I didn’t live close enough to them to spend hours upon hours every day making friends. I was a little bit of an outsider. While they all walked to each other’s houses every day in the summer, I stayed home with my sister and played in the yard, or did work in the little orchard we had, or made up stories by myself. My parents worked a lot, though they definitely did make efforts for me to have play dates with the other kids. It just wasn’t the same as living ten feet away from your best friend like all of the other kids did.

So my childhood was a little different from most kids’. I never minded much when I was little, because I didn’t realize there was an alternative. It helped me learn to entertain myself, and I got really comfortable being alone with my thoughts, which I think is super important and a little rare these days. I transferred to a high school in town when I was 14, and the same thing happened — I didn’t live near any of my friends, wasn’t able to just drop by. I loved high school and was really happy, so this wasn’t much of an issue, it was just different. My house was never the meeting place, because my house involved a 20 minute drive out of town.

Sometimes I drive through neighborhoods and see all the kids riding their bikes together, or walking to a corner mart, or just playing outside on someone’s lawn. I don’t know if I wish I’d had that childhood, really. It would’ve been nice to be able to be more social if I’d wanted, to have the typical high school experience you see in the movies where the best friend drops by all the time. But honestly, I’d be a different person. Those sorts of experiences change and shape you in ways we never really expect, so I don’t know who I’d be today. I’m sure I’d be lovely, but I happen to enjoy myself at the moment and I’m not terribly willing to change that.

So I didn’t care much for summer vacation, because summer vacation meant a lot of time alone. I’ll bet if I had those three months now I could find some really awesome things to do with some pretty awesome people, but I’m so excited to start my new job and make friends in this new city that there’s little that could make me want three months off of school or work.

It’s nice to be excited like this.

I Have Arrived


Everyone in this city is the friendliest person I’ve ever met. They’re all so happy, and each person is nicer than the next, and I don’t understand. I’m almost always in a good mood, at least around strangers, but I’d thought I was in the minority on that front. But nooooo, everyone here is so stoked on life and has been drinking so much Yerba Mate that they’re basically high on life (and quite a few of them might be actually high, as well).

And they’re so attractive here! The men have excellently groomed beards and the women are like little flower children and I swear to god I’m in heaven. I haven’t worn makeup in days, I feel like I could “forget” to shave my armpits for the rest of my life and someone would be super into it and date me solely for that reason, and my awkwardly growing out short haircut probably looks like a purposeful style choice.

It’s amazing. My roommate and I are constantly trying to figure out whether people want to be our friends or are just ridiculously  nice…I’d like to err on the side of friendship, because why not? I started training for my new job yesterday, and all of my coworkers are fabulous and I’m going to marry all of them. That’s probably relatively acceptable here, too, right?

I keep walking outside and breathing in so deeply that I practically pass out. I’m sitting in front of the open window looking outside at all the trees and listening to the traffic (it’s rather loud, which is new, but I’m getting used to hearing sirens once every few hours) and….it’s like the sun smells good.

I love it here, you guys. I’m so happy. I feel no stress. I feel like myself. I’m so, so happy.

xo

Sleepless


I can’t sleep. It’s the middle of the night before I move out of my childhood home and into an apartment in a city, and I just cannot sleep. I keep wishing Puck or that Fairy King were around to chuck some sleep glitter at my face so I could just have that midsummer night’s dream I’ve been waiting for. Also…pardon the potential inaccuracies, it’s hard to remember the details of Shakespeare’s works when you’re SO EXHAUSTED YOU’RE GOING CROSS-EYED. 

I was super annoyed that I couldn’t sleep, and was laying in silence waiting to be bopped over the head by some sleep fairy, when a pack of coyotes started howling. To a lot of people, that’s weird, unsettling, or maybe even scary. But to me, it sounds like home. I grew up listening to them yip at night, and my dad always used to take me outside to listen to them. There’s something comforting about coyotes: they come from where I come from, with their clever eyes and timid glances, and they really do represent my home. 

So maybe I should reframe this experience: I got to stay up late and hear the coyotes one last time before I move away. I’m sure I’ll be back to visit and hear them outside my window, but it’ll be different. This time is perfect. 

Bye bye, home. Bye, coyotes. I’ll miss you. I think it’s time for sleep. 

Moving


I found an apartment in Portland! I’ll be living at 1326 I’m Not Telling You Lane, What If You’re A Creeper City, OR…But whether I tell you the area or not, I’m so excited to be moving there. It’s nice to have a better idea of what my life will be like in the future — I move down in a little over a week, and then…uh…well that’s the next part.

I had an interview today with a place (again, mind your own business, you snoops!) and I think it went really well but it could have also gone horribly and I might have insulted the interviewer’s mother. I’m not sure, because I think I blacked out from nervousness. I find out either way in a few days.

Anyway, yay! You guys are great, Portland is great. I went to the zoo and saw a goat, I met a dog named Fluffy, I had vegan tacos that knocked my socks off…this is gonna be a great new step.

xo

I Live in Mist


What is it about weather that inspires us to write? More specifically, why are we always moved by rain? I suppose rain symbolizes new beginnings as it cleans the streets and helps the crops and flowers grow. I think there’s something more, some other reason that we like to write poems and songs and entire novels about rain. But I have a feeling that by the end of this particular post, that reason will remain a mystery to me.

It’s absolutely pouring here. Monsoon status rain outside my window…and I don’t take monsoon rains lightly, having been caught in several during my stay in India…but I don’t think I’ve ever seen rain this powerful in this tiny little town, and I just love it. All my windows are open, and I went outside on my tiny porch to feel the mist on my face. It’s just…wonderful. It made me write.

I’m scared and anxious lately because I move out of my college town in three days, and within a few weeks will be living in Portland. I want everything to be for sure: I want a nice, cheap apartment in a good part of town. I want a job (literally any job). I want to be happy there. I want to know things about my future in Portland, but unfortunately that’s the weird part about making plans for the future…you never really know anything until it becomes the present. It’s exciting, all those unknowns, but in another sense it’s really really not. It’s just terrifying.

I went to India basically on a whim. I mean, I was heavily invested in going, and I researched a lot, but there’s no way to be prepared for what India presents you with. I just sort of showed up, very white and very naive, with a lot of sunscreen and Pepto Bismol in my suitcase. And I was fine. I survived. I got e. Coli, which was absolutely horrific and not really an experience I’d recommend to a friend, but I totally survived. And I loved my time in India. Every experience was new and exciting, every conversation challenging and beautiful.

So I guess I just need to pretend that this massive new step in my life is like traveling to India. It’ll probably be easier, now that I think of it. I’m relocating from one town in the Pacific Northwest to another (albeit much larger) city. My apartment was dingy, plain, and randomly full of tiny lizards in India…wherever I live in Oregon will be a step up. I’ll have my health. I’ll have a fantastic roommate who cares about me and will look out for me if needed. I’ll have every new opportunity I could ever imaging presenting itself to me, all while wearing the cool vibe of Portlandia…

I’m still terrified. But maybe I can be terrified in a way that at least puts things into perspective. I had this same mini-panic a few weeks before I went to India…this time last year, actually. I just sat there and thought, “I cannot do this.” But I did it. I’m kinda awesome.

It’ll be more than fine. This new part of my life is going to be epic. 

You guys, I figured it out. Just now, totally unexpectedly as a breeze ran through the window I’m sitting next to: it’s rain smell. Rain smell, combined with all those other cleansing qualities and new opportunities that rain represents. It’s rain smell that inspires us, with its woody, green notes and crisp coldness. No matter where I travel, rain smells like the Pacific Northwest. Even when I was in India, rain brought me home.

Long Lost


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a friend I used to have, a friend whose soul I just understood. We connected on a creative, spiritual level, and the friendship we shared was one of the closest, most meaningful ones I’ve ever experienced. I shared everything with her, and she became my biggest fan, biggest cheerleader, biggest love. It’s hard to have that deep of a friendship and then watch it slowly slip away.

The details matter very little, honestly. We drifted apart because we both had busy lives at separate colleges. We had boyfriends, friends, career choices to make. But lately I just can’t stop wishing I still knew her.

Because I don’t know her anymore. I know absolutely nothing about who she is, what she does, where she is. I have a draft of a novel she wrote shoved in my closet somewhere, and I remember what she said she wanted out of life, but I don’t know her. I don’t know if she changed her career plans and moved to Argentina, or if she’s engaged, or if her family is well. I don’t know how her brother’s doing or if he loves college as much as I hoped he would.

It’s a part of life, drifting away from someone, slowly and maybe a little bit purposefully. I should make some gorgeous statement here about how I know everything will be all right, how someday I’ll stop feeling so sad whenever I think of her. Or maybe how I’ll find her number and call her up  and we’ll chat about the old days. Everything will be fine.

But I don’t have her number. I have an extremely old email address, which I used a while back to contact her, to no reply. I don’t have an address. I don’t have Facebook. I can’t just intrude on her life like that anyway, because it’s just not possible. So there’s no hope. I’ll never know her, and it breaks my heart because she was my best friend. The best friend you could ever hope to have — passionate, loyal, protective, creative, beautiful. I miss her. I don’t know if she misses me.

Sometimes, there’s no hopeful statement to close with. Sometimes you just cry a little and wish you’d never said the things you said, wish you’d never done the things you did. Sometimes you just have to be an outsider, completely in the dark about the life of someone you were supposed to know until you grew old. Sometimes you have to crumple up the joking speech you were going to make at her wedding, because you were going to be her maid of honor, and your children were going to call each other cousins because you loved each other like sisters, like more than sisters because you chose each other’s friendship.

Sometimes you just disconnect, and there’s no way to fix it. Sometimes you just have to live with the regret.